small ads

small ads
   Shopping, in a mass culture, is sometimes perceived as the only means of restoring identity, because it involves making choices. Responding to, or better, placing an advertisement in a newspaper is a better form of ‘individuation’. Such ads (for cars, household goods or services) and are performed ‘parallel’ to regular shopping transactions. There are numerous freesheets plus Daltons Weekly, Loot and Exchange & Mart, but small ads are also found in most newspapers. In ‘lonely heart’ ads (for example, as in Private Eye), advertisers target potential partners as ‘tall, non-smoking, London based’ or ‘20s playmate sought by 1950s professional man’; these tend to be more romantic than, and lack the specificity of, American abbreviations such as ‘dwf’ (divorced white female).
   See also: car boot sales; mail order

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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